What do you get when you cross The Turn of the Screw and Jane Eyre with Psycho? Victoria Griffith’s latest thriller.
When Maria becomes a summertime au pair to the children of a Scottish lord, she discovers the family is living under the shadow of two suspicious deaths.
Vanishing portraits, cloaked figures, and bizarre shrines add up to a compelling Modern Gothic psychological mystery.
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the publisher & publicist
READ THIS BOOK IF:
- You are enchanted by all things Gothic
- Mysteries are your kryptonite
- You love a good twist
- That darkly mysterious and cryptic feeling of foreboding that comes with not knowing if there’s a killer lurking in the literal mist or something paranormal is SPOT ON. There are spine-tingling moments of terror and subtle threats that will leave your skin crawling. One word: dolls.
- The children. There’s nothing more horrifying than kids that say disturbing thing. Especially about their dead mother…as if she were still alive. Randomly opened doors, singing in the dead of night with no one around, getting locked in rooms, it’s all sorts of spooky.
- Maria is protective and compassionate. She genuinely cares. Even in her times of utter fear, she overcomes and becomes stronger for those children she hardly knows. Getting to the bottom of the mystery is everything, and the more clues she finds, the darker the truth seems.
- Red herrings galore. Victoria Griffith is a master at misdirection. You’ll never see it coming.
- The story felt like two separate plots that didn’t mesh well. It starts with terrorism, murder, and witness protection, and evolves into a Gothic mystery. The transition wasn’t smooth, and the intrusion of the initial plot disrupts the time in Scotland.
- The pacing was slow. Though that’s pretty typical for a Gothic, the time span between spooky incidents was pretty large and diminished the actual creep factor. It wasn’t as scary as it could have been. Some parts are on the verge of terrifying and others fell flat.
- This is not a romance. There’s barely chemistry. The characters are rarely together and nowhere near enough to build up the romance. When the attraction (barely a spark) does get to the next level, it feels random, fast, and unnecessary. A distraction.
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